Online fund raises nearly $2 million for Daniel Penny’s legal defense in subway case

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An online crowdfunding page has raised nearly $2 million for the legal defense of Daniel Penny, the former Marine charged last week with second-degree manslaughter in the chokehold death of Jordan Neely on the New York City subway earlier this month.

A “GiveSendGo” page titled “Daniel Penny’s Legal Defense Fund” listed that $1,883,357 had been raised as of late Sunday night. According to the page, it was created by the law firm Raiser & Kenniff, P.C., and the funds are to cover legal fees “from any criminal charges filed and any future civil lawsuits that may arise, as well as expenses related to his defense.”

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office arraigned and charged Penny with second-degree manslaughter last week over the death of 30-year-old Neely, who died after Penny put him in a chokehold during an incident on the subway.

Neely lost consciousness while in the chokehold and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. 

Neely, who was Black, had reportedly struggled with homelessness and mental illness and had been shouting at passengers on the subway and was tackled by some. Attorneys for Penny, who is white, have claimed the former Marine never intended to harm Neely and was acting to protect himself and other subway passengers.  

The city chief medical examiner’s office ruled Neely’s death was caused by compression of the neck, but noted that the legal system would determine any criminal culpability.

Neely’s family has said Penny “needs to be in prison.”

Penny voluntarily turned himself in to authorities on Friday to face his second-degree manslaughter charge. He did not enter a plea to the charge. Penny could face up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of the charge. 

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